"I never thought I would be here, at this point in the Giro with an advantage like this," said maglia rosa wearer Di Luca, obliviously happy with his 2'24" lead over Andy Schleck (Team CSC). "The race is not over, and I have to watch out for Schleck."
He is prepared for Saturday's run. "I have done the complete 43 kilometres in training, and I know the parcours."
The Maglia Rosa reckons he has an "80 percent chance of winning the Giro now. ... This is already a high percentage." He continued, "I feel much more secure now that Mazzoleni is two minutes further [back] than before this stage. Until Saturday evening, it's impossible to say more." And, "I am not afraid of the crono; I will do it at my maximum - I have too. I will make sure to get time checks over the whole course."
Schleck will confront his final exam in the Corsa Rosa; the 43-kilometre run to Verona should give pundits an idea of what he can do in a time trial after nearly 21 days of racing. "Now I have two objectives, the Maglia Bianca and the podium," continued Schleck. "But it is not a dream, the only stage that will make the difference will be the time trial; I can't catch Di Luca, and Simoni should not catch me." The white knight put enough time into Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Prodir) to ensure the young rider's jersey would stay on his shoulders, and, at 2'24" behind Maglia Rosa Di Luca he seems ready for a podium spot in Milano.
The top 10 in GC going into the TT stage:
1 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 86.46.28
2 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 2.24
3 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2.28
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 3.29
5 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Astana 3.46
6 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 5.19
7 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit System 8.20
8 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 10.00
9 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 10.39
10 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 10.55
Photo: DiLuca on Zoncolan where he held onto the maglia rosa and established his lead time before the TT stage.
Text is from www.cyclingnews.com